Nov 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman (23) runs for a touchdown as New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich (50) attempts to catch up from behind during the first half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Broncos Running Backs vs. Chargers Run Defense
For the second straight week, the Broncos running back tandem of C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman are my key matchup players. This time, they go up against a Chargers defense that has really struggled this season as a unit. They have a tough time stopping the run and keeping points off the board.
For Anderson and Hillman, this should be a field day for them. Ever since Osweiler took over as starting quarterback, they have significantly improved in the running game. They average around 170 yards since Osweiler took over.
The running game was able to do some damage against a solid Patriots defense that was eighth in run defense before the game. Now going up against a team that is near the bottom of the pack, it should be a huge game for the running backs.
Broncos Pass Defense vs. Phillip Rivers
Despite the Chargers struggles, Rivers has been a solid player this season as I have mentioned earlier in the article. Thanks to him, the Chargers rank as the second best team in passing offense. This could present a challenge for the Broncos who could be without T.J. Ward.
The Broncos tandem of Aqib Talib and Chris Harris, Jr. will have to stand strong when Rivers gets the ball up in the air. In order to limit this, the front seven are going to need to get Rivers off of his game and dial up the pressure.
If the Broncos front seven can’t dial up the pressure, the secondary should be able to do some damage as they carry the top pass defense in the league. They are ball hawks and limit any big plays in the passing game.